Council discusses plans for home to school transport

Emma Billingham

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Emma Billingham

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Parents will find out shortly what home to school transport services will be provided for their children starting school in September 2017.

Royal Borough cabinet members voted to adopt the new Home to School Transport provision at a meeting on Thursday which has been designed to make services fairer across the borough.

Transport will be provided to the school closest to where the pupil lives, unless that space could not be allocated. If parents opt for their child not to attend the school nearest to home, the council will not provide transport.

For example, this means residents in Holyport who choose to send their children to Cox Green School will no longer receive transport, as Holyport College is the closest school.

Councillor Natasha Airey, cabinet member for children's services, who presented the report, said: "This does not affect those who currently receive support, this is for new placements."

The council will also be starting two new pilot schemes; Independent Travel Training (ITT) and Personal Transport Budgets (PTB).

Both schemes are aimed at helping students within the borough who have special educational needs.

ITT looks to 'provide tailored, practical help to young people travelling by public transport, on foot or by bike, allowing them to travel independently and confidently to education and other key services'.

The transport provision for those students will be reviewed each year, as what they need at five-years-old may be different to what they need at 15.

Cllr Airey said: "This is not just to help with education, but also getting the bus on a Saturday perhaps."

PTB is being tested to try and encourage parents to provide transport for their children with zonal based payments being paid. The money can be used in any way to ensure the child attends school everyday.

Notification of the changes and new availability will be sent out to parents shortly as they come to decide where to send their child next September.

The meeting was held at Windsor Guildhall.

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